On the occasion of World Climate Day, celebrated on December , Novethic is publishing an infographic that shows the appetite of the French for the subject. Like the Citizen’s Convention for the Climate, which resulted in sometimes very daring measures, Ademe’s 2021 barometer on social representations of climate change also shows the acceptance of the French to move towards a more sober society. in carbon. A majority have already noted the fact of eating less meat or no longer taking the plane.

This is a barometer that Ademe has carried out every year since 2000. A survey carried out among a representative sample of the population to assess the place of the environment in the concerns of the French, the measures they already apply and the solutions they favor. The 2021 edition (1) shows that despite the current crisis context, the ecological transition remains the second concern of the French, behind health and just ahead of immigration.

Above all, it appears that 64% of in their lifestyles provided that they are applied fairly among all members of society. And 58% think that the transition will go through this against 13% who say they are banking on technical progress. This divide refers to the prospective report “Transition (s) 2050” published by Ademe last week . It presents four scenarios ranging from the most frugal to the most technological to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050 and notes that this implies a real choice of society, beyond the simple question of energy.

French people would accept major changes
French people would accept major changes

The drop in meat consumption has started

The other good news from the 2021 barometer is that individual practices in favor of the environment are increasing and accelerating this year, particularly in terms of consumption and energy saving practices in housing. 58% of French people thus declare “to consume less”, which represents ten points more compared to 2020. 70% announce lowering the temperature of their accommodation by 2 or 3 ° C in winter, 53% affirm to limit their consumption of meat and 51% say they no longer fly for leisure, compared to 36% in 2018.

An Ifop survey for Ouest-France published on December 3 reveals that three in four French people are ready to eat less meat and fish and that 48% have increased their consumption of plant products over the past two years. On the other hand, the most difficult changes concern everyday transport. 36% say they cannot carpool and car-sharing, 31% cannot take public transport instead of their car, and 23% cannot get around by bike or on foot, depending on the dwelling place.

A widely accepted carbon tax if conditional

This barometer also shows a decline in the acceptance of personal constraints imposed by the State. 61% are in favor of an increase in the tax on vehicles that emit the most greenhouse gases, down eight points over one year. Only 42% would accept a reduction in speed on the motorway to 110 km / h and 38% a limitation of suburban housing in favor of collective housing. The increase in the carbon tax, at the origin of the Yellow Vests movement, obtains 51% of favorable opinions. A rate that rises to 72% if the measure is conditional on the fact that it does not penalize the purchasing power of middle and lower class households and that the tax revenues are used to finance ecological transition measures, in particular in the territories.

The observation is in any case clear: the French have become aware of the climate emergency – 40% say they have already suffered the impacts -, they are ready to act in several areas but they also expect a strong response from the State and a fair distribution of efforts. They are also 60% to prefer a policy which reorients in depth the economy by supporting exclusively the sectors which preserve the environment, health and social cohesion rather than a revival at all costs of the activity. “From this decade, we must undertake the planning and profound transformation of consumption patterns, land use planning, technologies and productive investments “, Ademe reminded us in its “Transition (s) 2050” report.